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Review: Og Tegnet - From the Ashes of Ruin
Og Tegnet
From the Ashes of Ruin

Label: Trippin Hippie Records
Year released: 2009
Duration: 39:27
Tracks: 9
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.25/5

Review online: August 8, 2009
Reviewed by: Brett Buckle
Readers Rating
From the Ashes of Ruin

Rated 3/5 (60%) (7 Votes)

When Og Tegnet's From the Ashes of Ruin turned up in the mail I was slightly concerned – this was clearly some cult underground Black Metal, with its dark cover and minimalist inlay, and I feared I held another Infiinite Hatred in my hands. How sweet to be pleasantly surprised! Og Tegnet's debut is a very tidy slice of Black Metal with plenty to like, which sounds largely like a new band trying to find its feet; it has all the right ingredients but is just a little underdone.

A nice off-kilter vocal intro slowly brings the metal, and in no uncertain terms either. Blasting out with "Murders of Creation", sole member and band namesake Og Tegnet unleashes some nice riffs, admirably paying homage to the forefathers of the mighty Black. There is a constant underlying tension to the music (the latter half of "Die Türen der menslichene Häute" is particularly ugly), and while it is about as original as bacon flavoured bacon, it is convincing and suitably corrupt. The production is your standard Black Metal fare with thin, washed out and icy guitars, a flat (although audible) bass, and noisy cymbals with a slightly buried drum sound. A little bit too raw for me, but each instrument makes its mark and the sound is far from muddy or unintelligible. Vocally Og Tegnet stick to the Black Metal template with a croaky scream that often incorporates an edge of Thrash in its barking delivery, and he acquits himself well. "Willkommen zum Leben" bogs the middle of the album down with its lame pseudo-creepy atmospherics, but thankfully OG Tegnet makes a great save with the crusty "1929". Its (too long) radio tuning intro gives way so some very tight mid-paced blackened riffage and some sharp demonic vocals that give way to a weird bass based riff that I cannot decide whether I like or hate – a neat trick. On the reverse side, "Schwarzes Nichts" later on is a very good atmospheric piano piece under a slightly slowed sound bite (no idea where the sound bite is from), although it tends to go overlong. The suitably named "The Doomed" plods along towards albums end with some enjoyable stripped back blackened Doom that includes some torturous lead work, again highlighting the abilities of this one man outfit.

Unfortunately Og Tegnet does something that I fucking hate on this album – 99 songs, 86 of which are 4 seconds of heartbeat sound effects. Why I ask, why? Why not just tack them on as tracks 10-13? Or better yet, release them as bonus tracks to a limited edition or even an EP? Maybe a debut disc can't carry that kind of release, but underground Black Metal has never shied from the dozens of splits/singles/limited EPs paradigm. They don't really do anything for the album, and the uninteresting NiN and Misfits covers are perfect EP fodder.

The thing with the album is, that even with all the right ingredients, and some convincing performances, From the Ashes of Ruins overall fails to "click", and like all things that just don't click, it is hard to say exactly why. It is definitely not bad – indeed it has many enjoyable bits and pieces, but it doesn't inspire repeat listens, nor does any of it stick in your mind. Personally I am putting this down to a general immaturity of song writing. Given time I suspect that Og Tegnet will be writing and releasing some great USBM. You should definitely give this a shot as there is a lot to like going on here, but I believe this is only for those who prefer to dwell deep underground. Og Tegnet is definitely an act to keep an eye on in the future.

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